Helping people with computers... one answer at a time. is a reference portal containing links to hundreds, if not thousands, of quality reference resources on the internet.

There are reference sites, and then there's

I was always fascinated by the reference desk at my school or local library. There were always hundreds of books, encyclopedias and other materials that you could find in that one special place. is the internet version of exactly that. Just like the library version, I could spend hours browsing the various materials that points to. is a "portal" site, which means that its primary purpose in life is to list other sites that contain reference information. That may not seem like much, until you actually take a look at the thousands of incredibly valuable reference links that includes. These are both resources you've probably heard of, and many more - just as valuable - that you likely haven't. Heck, whether you've heard of them or not, if you're like me just remembering all these resources when you need them can be a trick that solves quite nicely.

"... I could spend hours browsing the various materials that points to." is well organized, and all links are actually reviewed (by a real person!) prior to being added. To quote: "On the Internet since 1995, refdesk indexes and reviews quality, credible, and timely reference resources that are free and family-friendly."

The internet has always held a promise of "free information for everyone" that somehow seems to fall short as we find questionable sources, misleading information, and all too often just plain junk., on the other hand, delivers on the internet's promise by including free, trusted, authoritative and legitimate resources - all in one place. is free, supported by advertising and donations. For donations over a certain amount, you can get access to an ad-free version of the site.

If you're looking for facts, information, answers, or just think "there's gotta be an on-line reference for that", then is the place to go.

I recommend it.

Article C2542 - December 14, 2008 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

dioscoro g. peligro
December 14, 2008 8:46 PM

It is great for family information where the young could devote their time instead of drugs and gangsterism. Keep up the good work for a better world.

g. oliver
September 28, 2010 11:41 AM

I'd like to recommend Internet Public Library ( I find it better organized and less overwhelming than Refdesk.

February 7, 2012 6:01 PM

Quite comprehensive indeed. As g. oliver stated, it can be a bit overwhelming [I have ADHD]. Too bad it isn't customizable allowing what you need the most on top. Then again, I could also click the link then add that site to my reference folder. Or, just add to my favorites.

I found it best to collect reference sites before you actually need them. A real time saver.

Penny Dunn
November 30, 2012 10:02 AM

Thanx very much. I always like to research and learn new things. I've found that undisciplined searches least to the extremes of "the greatest thing since sliced white bread" to "my brother-in-law grew a third head after using it". I've also found that references included in internet articles are often "circular" where the writers use each others writing as a reference without running information to the source. Even doing a simple Powerpoint presentation for quilt group took over a week of running the references to the source. The good news? I had a lot of fun and learned a great deal. The bad news? I wasted a lot of time doing it. While I'm retired, I don't like to waste time. I want to be sewing and quilting.

As an aside, I'd like to thank Ask Leo for the information provided. While most of what you say goes over my head, I do try to keep reasonably literate and you have pointed me towards some very good software and apps that have proved very useful. Thanx also for your patience in not talking down to us 65+ users. I used to be a dynamite programmer in Assembly language, COBOL and FORTRAN. (Even used a keypunch machine, wire board, and sorter in one of my earliest jobs.) However, time and events moved me into a job where using a computer became more important that programming one. Now it's a valueable tool but I'm not up on all the technical info. Your letters and webpage help keep me in the loop. Keep up the good work.

My first programming language was Fortran. Using punch cards. Smile The first project I worked on when I joined Microsoft? Microsoft Cobol.

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